Bustos Statement on Illinois Economic Development Opportunities in Cuba

Cheri Bustos

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) made the following statement regarding continued economic development in Cuba:

“My two visits to Cuba have shown me firsthand how our farmers and manufacturers will directly benefit from new trade partnerships and a better relationship with the country,” Congresswoman Bustos said. “We still have work to do to establish credit and financing on U.S. food sales to Cuba, but I am pleased to hear the news that our effort to open this market and promote Illinois businesses is advancing to grow our local economy and directly benefit hardworking local families.”

Earlier this week, Caterpillar announced that the company’s Puerto Rico-based distributor, RIMCO, will be opening up a warehouse and distribution center in Cuba’s Mariel Special Economic Development Zone.

This was followed by news that John Deere signed an agreement with Maquimport to sell hundreds of tractors and associated implements in Cuba over a four-year period. The first shipment of John Deere tractors will arrive in Cuba in mid-November.

Congresswoman Bustos has twice been to Cuba – first, for a bipartisan trade mission with Congressman Rodney Davis (IL-13); and second, as part of President Obama’s historic delegation to Cuba. She has consistently pushed for legislation that would cut red tape facing farmers and manufacturers in Illinois and give Cubans access to standard credit to buy American-made goods.

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